SACRAMENTO, CA—School meals have come a long way since the last season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution aired on TV. Today, Jamie was in the Golden State again to applaud the work of school districts across the state in improving meals for students and to continue promoting his message of the importance of food education for children in underserved communities.
“The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA) has worked hard in America over the past three years to ensure that everyone from schools to communities to businesses embraces our philosophy that we all need to be reeducated about real, fresh food – how to cook it and how important it is in disease prevention,” said Jamie Oliver. “The Los Angeles Unified School District is an example of how to take food education to the next level, as they are doing an amazing job, working hard to revamp their meal programs to provide fresh, real food to all 655,000 children. If change can be made on this scale, then everyone should be looking to them for inspiration."
As part of a 40-week tour that began in September 2013, The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF), in partnership with The California Endowment brings free classes and food education aboard the famed "Big Rig Mobile Kitchen Classroom" to underserved communities from San Diego to Sacramento. Read more about the Big Rig Tour in California and find the schedule here.
The Big Rig’s stay in Sacramento launched with Jamie’s visit, where he met with California and local policymakers, as well as community leaders to discuss school lunch and the importance of food education for kids at school, what can be done to improve access to water as an alternative to sugary drinks and to help school nutrition directors prepare fresh, healthy, appealing food for our children.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jamie Oliver and his Big Rig Teaching Kitchen to Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. “Food skills are one of the most valuable life skills we can teach this generation, and every child should have the opportunity to learn about what real food is, where it comes from, and how it affects their bodies. The free scratch-cooking courses taught inside the truck will inspire local cooks of all ages to prepare healthy food that is also delicious. Sacramento is on board to make health happen and build on the food revolution."
School meals in California and throughout the nation were overhauled last year to meet updated nutrition guidelines developed by experts at the Institute of Medicine and the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 89.1% of schools in California are meeting the updated meal standards successfully. However, according to a Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project report to be released later this year, there are still barriers to providing the freshest and healthiest meals possible.
Schools must also improve access to clean drinking water at mealtimes and throughout the school day. Nearly half of California schools don’t offer free water to students at mealtime. Clean drinking water, the best alternative to sugary junk drinks, helps the long-term health of our children.
“Food education begins with the meals and drinks served at school,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment. “Each meal and every drink option gives us the chance to keep kids healthy and to help students stay focused in class. We need to make delivering healthy meals and water as easy as possible for our schools. I applaud Jamie Oliver for spreading the message on the importance of healthy meals at school and in the home.”
To be part of the Jamie Oliver food movement or sign-up for one of the free cooking classes in your community, visit www.Jamiesfoodrevolution.com/bigrig.
About Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF) is a California-based non-profit public-benefit corporation, 501(c)(3) (Tax I.D. 90-0825165). The Food Foundation works to bring food education to schools and youth groups, businesses and communities. It does this by raising awareness in the media to galvanize policy changes at a local and national level, offering hands-on training to instill food skills and knowledge, and founding partnerships to enable to scale nationally. www.jamieoliverfoodfoundation.org
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment's Web site at www.calendow.org.
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